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A Winning Formula for Local Humanism

moscow_id1-300x200[1]A political blue dot in the middle of a sea of red, the town of Moscow, ID, is an isolated example of how a locally focused push for humanism can be successful—even in a hostile region. The home of the University of Idaho, Moscow is just across the state line from Pullman, WA, the home of a Washington State University campus.  The two campuses make this “twin city” area one that isn’t nearly as conservative—religiously and politically—as the rest of the region, and provide an opening for the growth of humanism. [Read more]

Religious Films Atheists Might Actually Enjoy

doubt[1]For decades the film industry has marketed the subject of religion to the masses with some positive reception, but interest in religious films that hold strongly to ancient texts has declined in the twenty-first century. I suspect one of the reasons is that growing numbers of secular people simply aren’t interested in such religious material, as the topic is often glorified on the silver screen. With the resurgence of creationists and Bible literalists over the past several years, there has also been an increase in media activity attempted by religious institutions to combat this decline. [Read more]

The End of Polite Conversation? Part One

doctorsoffice-300x199[1]On February 26, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have made it legal for businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers whose identity ran counter to the business owner’s religious views. Similar bills in other states are facing major opposition, as the majority of Americans increasingly see a person’s gender or sexual identity as that individual’s own private business, nothing else. But conservatives haven’t given up. [Read more]
This is part one of a two-part series. Click here for the conclusion.

Humanist Advice for Brides-to-Be

I’ve been asked for advice, and I’d like your advice on how to answer. My husband’s cousin is engaged to a wonderful girl who everyone loves, but she’s a different faith. [Read more]

Protesters Denounce the Dalai Lama as a ‘Dictator’

RNS-DALAI-LAMA bProtesting the Dalai Lama? For many, that sounds like throwing eggs at Santa Claus. Yet on his current tour of the U.S., the exiled leader of Tibetan Buddhism — and Nobel laureate — has been dogged by protesters nearly everywhere he speaks. Organizers of these demonstrations expect hundreds to chant outside the Washington National Cathedral during the Dalai Lama’s visit on Friday (March 7). [Read more]

Court Hears Atheists’ Challenge to Ground Zero Cross

RNS GROUNDZERO CROSSAtheists are challenging plans to include a 17-foot, cross-shaped beam that became a famous symbol of Ground Zero after 9/11 in a display at the national memorial museum that is scheduled to open this spring. In arguments before the the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday (March 6), American Atheists’ lawyer Edwin Kagin said the cross should go back to St. Peter’s Catholic Church, where it spent some time on display, not in a museum built with a mix of public and private funds. [Read more]

EEOC Details Employer Rules as Religious Worker Complaints Rise

image001_1[1]The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued new, detailed guidelines for employers Thursday (March 6) as the number of complaints and million-dollar settlements for cases of religious workplace discrimination neared record levels in 2013. An EEOC spokesperson, Justine Lisser, said Thursday that the 20-year trend shows “a persistent uptick in religious discrimination charges that continues unabated.” Complaints have more than doubled since 1997. Lisser also said that representatives of religious groups have asked for more EEOC outreach in this area. [Read more]